vegetarian

Updated inarizushi recipe on Just Hungry

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In case you don’t follow Just Hungry (though, if you want to know about basic Japanese cooking techniques you really should :)) I’ve substantially updated the inarizushi recipe that I originally posted more than 4 years ago. The new article describes in detail how to make your own inarizushi skins, which, if you can get a hold of the aburaage (fried tofu skins), is not hard at all. The technique is useful for people who have had trouble with the infamous Eggs in Treasure Bags recipe!

Bento Sized Mini Quiches

This is a guest post by jokergirl, who blogs about vegetarian and pescetarian bentos at WereRabbits.

“Go ahead, bake my quiche.”
Queen Magrat, Lords and Ladies

As a pescetarian leaning heavily towards full-time vegetarianism, finding the right protein for my bento is often a strain. I’m not a fan of soy meat replacements to boot, so often I look to eggs as a handy protein packet to put in my bento. Luckily, scientists now say that eggs are good for you again, so I’m not worried about cholesterol.

These mini-quiches are a tasty and healthy freezer staple for those times when boiling an egg or making tamagoyaki seems like too much effort. Each one of them contains about 1-2 tablespoons of egg-vegetable mixture, equivalent to about half an egg (plus a bit of milk).

Here are a few bentos I have used them in:

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Healthy Egg Sandwich Breakfast Bento

This is a guest post by Diana, who blogs about her healthy eating ideas at Soap and Chocolate.

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Not everyone eats breakfast as well as lunch at the office, but for those of us who begin work at 9am after a whirlwhind of exercise, showering and primping, it’s convenient to be able to pack a bento-style breakfast the night before in order to cut down on the morning rush time. We all want to preserve those precious minutes of sleep before the alarm goes off!   One of my favorite homemade to-go breakfasts is an omelette sandwich and fruit. This can be done with a myriad of mix-ins and spreads, but for the purposes of this post, I’ve gone with a Mexican theme, just to step out of the bento box a bit. continue reading...

Buchimgae or Chijimi (Jijimi) with Kimchi

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Buchimgae or jijimi or chijimi is a thin, savory pancake from Korea. It’s similar to a Japanese okonomiyaki, but is a bit less complicated to make. (Also closely related is pajon, a pancake with lots of green onions.) It’s basically a pancake-like batter holding together a lot of vegetables and other ingredients. It’s a great way of using up leftovers, and holds up a lot better than okonomiyaki as a bento item I think. It makes a nice change from rice or bread based bentos.

Here are two batter recipes. One is a traditional one using wheat flour and beaten egg, the other one is a vegan and gluten-free variation. Use the one that suits your needs. The traditional one is a bit lighter and crispier, and the vegan one is denser. continue reading...

Vegan Mochi Tofu Nuggets

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I was inspired to make these little nuggets of vegan goodness by a recipe for mochi chicken that was posted in the forums by member SojoMojo. He says that mochi chicken is a common dish in Hawaii; he grew up eating them and now loves to use them in his bentos. (As I learn more about Hawaiian cuisine, I realize that it departs from Japanese cuisine in many interesting ways, even if many of its roots are in Japan.) The mochi flour, cornstarch and egg batter produces a coating that is hard and crispy on the outside, and soft and mochi-like on the inside. Chicken lovers should try his recipe for sure!

For this vegan variation, I’ve used kouya dofu, or free-dried tofu. See an indepth description of kouya dofu. You can find it in the dried goods section of a Japanese grocery store, and it should be pretty inexpensive. It keeps indefinitely in the pantry, making it a great item to stock. If you can’t get hold of kouya dofu, see the notes below about how to use regular tofu you’ve frozen yourself. I’ve also eliminated the egg from the coating, but the flavor-filled liquid in the pre-cooked tofu still produces a nice soft mochi-like interior.

As with all the vegan-protein recipes I post here, this tastes delicious to omnivores like myself too. As a matter of fact, when I packed a bento recently for the self-professed “bovo-vegetarian” in the house recently with these nuggets together with something meaty, he said he preferred these a lot more! continue reading...

Miso Tamago (Miso Marinated Eggs)

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Joining the list of delicious things to do with the humble hardboiled egg alongside soy sauce eggs and lazy easy tea eggs, are these delicately beige, utterly delicious eggs marinated in miso. They don’t have the burnished brown color of soy sauce eggs, but are just as, if not more, delicious. And they get tastier the longer you let them marinate.

They are very easy to make, if a bit messy. They last in the refrigerator for up to a week, so are a nice staple to have and eat over the course of a few days.

Good miso is expensive, so this recipe uses as little miso as possible while still doing the job. continue reading...

Bento Filler: Fennel Salad (Fennel no Shiomomi)

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This is such an easy recipe that it’s barely a recipe at all, but it’s very versatile and quick, so here it is. Fennel bulb has so much flavor on its own that you only need to add a minimal amount of seasonings to make a tasty salad. This method of massaging crunchy vegetables with salt is called shiomomi (塩揉み)in Japanese, and is very useful for making fibrous vegetables easier to eat without having to cook them. continue reading...